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Jakarta Post

Riyanto: A martyr with a life lesson on pluralism

  • Hasyim Widhiarto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 23 2010   /  10:55 am

Both late former President Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid and Riyanto, a member of Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) Banser youth wing, had a similar urgency in promoting diversity.

While Gus Dur’s legacy of pluralism received nationwide recognition, Riyanto’s legacy has only gained a limited scope within Mojokerto in East Java.

The oldest of seven children, Riyanto made national headlines after he sacrificed his life trying to toss away an explosive package he found in front of the Eben Haezer Church on Jl. Kartini where hundreds of people were attending Christmas Eve mass in 2000.

But as time goes by, his deeds have widely faded away from the recollection of most Indonesians.

On the dreadful day, Mojokerto’s Banser members, including Riyanto, had been assigned to help guard Christmas mass in churches all over the city in response to the escalating religious te...